Topic of the practice
Regional Sustainable Development Strategy and Action-Plan
Good Practice Information
Eco-Gozo, or the Eco-Island vision for Gozo, is a Local Sustainable Development strategy and action plan for the Island of Gozo. The strategy allows the island to move forward at a faster rate towards sustainable development when compared to the national thrust and to translate this strategy into a marketable brand which can be used to improve the image of the island. The success factors of this project depend on the success for implementation on the part of Government and also the take up of this concept by both the private sector and the individual citizen.
The mission statement (or vision) of this initiative is as follows: Gozo will become an eco-island by 2020, supported by a keen and committed sustainable community. The quality of life in Gozo will improve further through education, economic development and social progress. Gozo will strive to reduce its carbon and water footprints. The Gozitan lifestyle will be protected, just as the island’s environment, resources, culture and identity, and see that all these play a significant part in attracting more visitors and investors to the island.
For the implementation of the Action Plan, shown on the website, the Government of Malta has allocated a budget of € 25 million from national funds (excluding EU funding and private investment). The beneficiaries of this policy are the population, its visitors and those who invest there. The project has been of benefit to the whole country. Given that this strategy touches on most aspects of life on Gozo, all those who come in contact with Gozo in one way or another are considered to be important stakeholders in the implementation of this vision.
This practice has a strong potential for transferability given that it is essentially built on the notion of implementing a Local Sustainable Development Strategy (which in fact, all national and regional authorities should already be doing).
This practice is in line with EU and UN strategic policies related to Sustainable Development and Growth, and can be said to be inspired by the Local Agenda 21 framework. The short-term action plan included 80 measures which Government (through the Ministry for Gozo) implemented in the period 2010-2012.
Evidence of success
This practice has created a number of jobs - around 10 professional jobs in the Public Sector (which are environment-related not administration-related), and a number of jobs inspired by this strategy in the private sector which cannot be quantified. Among the latter examples, one can list the jobs created at a local 5-star hotel (Kempinski-Gozo) which is taking environmental certification very seriously, and a number of companies related to renewable energy and energy efficiency.
Also some infrastructural works have been enabled due to the Action Plan:
5 km of restored rubble walls and 2300 trees planted; the approval of co-financed projects worth 2.4 million Euro for Eco-Gozo by local councils and NGOs; grants awarded over 1100 families to enable investment in photovoltaic systems and solar water heating; 43 litres of increased rainwater harvesting capacity on the island, through the competition of cleaning works in a number of valleys; promotional work amounting to 120 000 euro to market Gozo as a diving destination,; securing 0.8 million Euro direct investment by private enterprise in relation to the rainwater harvesting project and the installation of 50.32 kWp in photovoltaic systems at the Ministry of Gozo.
Contact details to obtain further information on the practice
EcoGozo Regional Development Directorate
Annex completed on: 05-19-2011